Abattoir Worker Apprenticeship Standard approved
The red meat abattoir industry now has its own dedicated apprenticeship, after the Level 2 Abattoir Worker Standard received Governmental approval.
The standard aims to drive high standards right across the abattoir and red meat processing sector and outlines the key knowledge, skills and behaviours an abattoir worker needs; from receiving animals in lairage, to their humane slaughter and hygienic evisceration.
It is expected to take between 16-22 months, from registration to end-point assessment, to complete the apprenticeship.
Abattoir workers must hold a valid licence to operate, known as a certificate of competence, to comply with Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing (WATOK) legislation. To obtain this licence, apprentices must achieve the Level 2 WATOK award, which is a mandatory accredited qualification within the apprenticeship.
In total, 13 employers, including ABP, Dunbia and Tulip, contributed to the content of the apprenticeship, which is designed to work for employers of all sizes though, with small and medium enterprises having also been represented within the employer group.
Richard Dilworth, former group safety and training manager of ABP, chaired the group, while Terry Fennell, chief executive of food awarding body and assessment organisation, FDQ, provided technical guidance on the design of the apprenticeship.
Fennell, on behalf of its umbrella organisation the Food and Drink Training and Education Council (ftc), also steered both the Level 2 and Advanced Butchery apprenticeships through to approval, for their respective employer groups.
Dilworth commented: “At last we have an apprenticeship which recognises the skills in this sector. The trailblazer development was supported enthusiastically by a wide range of employers and industry bodies. We were also supported throughout by FDQ, who did an excellent job in shaping our ideas into a first-class submission.”
Bill Jermey, ftc’s chief executive, added: “With no less than three new apprenticeship standards now approved, the meat industry is truly pulling its weight towards helping the government achieve this target, and importantly getting workers back into skilled occupations.
“I’m delighted that we can now add Abattoir Worker to the list.”